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Ultrasonics. 2016 Dec;72:195-200. doi: 10.1016/j.ultras.2016.08.010. Epub 2016 Aug 18.

Development of non-invasive method for assessment of hepatic steatosis.

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Department of Premier Preventive Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan. Electronic address:
Department of Physics and Electronics, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka Prefecture University, Sakai, Japan.
Graduate School of Human Life Science, Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan.
Advantest Corporation, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Hepatology, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan.


Steatosis is a critical feature of liver disease and is considered to play a pivotal role in the progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as being a surrogate marker of metabolic syndrome. The purpose of this study was to develop a non-invasive diagnostic method for assessment of liver steatosis. It is well known that ultrasonic velocity depends on materials and temperature. For example, the ultrasonic velocity in water is 1530m/s at 37°C and 1534m/s at 39°C, while that in fat is 1412m/s at 37°C and 1402m/s at 39°C. On this basis, we thought that the percentage of fat in hepatic steatosis could be assessed by detecting changes of ultrasonic in the liver, caused by warming. In order to confirm the effectiveness of this method, we obtained the ultrasonic velocity changes of tissue phantom including lard oil and the liver of living rabbit by ultrasonic warming, and then succeeded in 2-D imaging of ultrasonic velocity changes of the phantom and the liver of living rabbit. We named this the ultrasonic velocity-change method. The experimental results show the possibility that hepatic steatosis could be characterized using our novel, non-invasive method.


Hepatic steatosis; Pulse shift; Temperature; Ultrasonic velocity change

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